Do older power cables still hold up to newer ones?


I have been thinking about this for a while now. I have a 20+ year history in this audio hobby. Back then in the early 2000’s I was working at my business and had a bit of disposable income and I built up a system, some of which I still own today. Namely my VAC Amp and Preamp and my CEC TL1x. (I have bought new speakers, a new DAC and DDC, a music streamer. I’ve replaced my old Wireworld Gold Eclipse III interconnects and speaker wires already) I have some highly rated power cords of their time from 2002. I have 4 Shunyata Black Mamba cords on the front end equipment and a pair of BMI Whales on the Amp. (My Renaissance 70/70 amp requires two power cords.) Everything except the amp is plugged into the original Shunyata Hydra power conditioner and i have 2 20 amp dedicated lines for everything. Most other things in the system have been updated this past year. So I really ponder if it would be worth it to convert these cords to something new and will it really cost a lot more to improve upon them? These were all very good power conditioning products back then. I am not interested in buying multi thousand dollar cords. I am retired now and I don’t want to spend money on anything I don’t have to and I probably won’t. I just wonder how good they really are anymore??? It’s probably hard to tell because so much time has expired since they were made and sold. I could test something out from the Cable Co loan program I guess, but to me it seems that will end being very costly to improve upon these cables. I do have a Wire World Electra 8 cord coming to play with that I got off US Audiomart just to see if it makes any difference anywhere. I just got my pre amp updated waiting for it’s return and i plan to take my amp to FL to drop off to VAC for a upgrade/refurbish. I also plan to re-tube it and that can cost $1600-$3500 depending on which tubes I get. So my pathway to resurrecting the system doesn’t include power cords at this time. (I took a hiatus from the system for 10 years busy chasing other hobbies, but that phase of my life is over as my age has caught up to me..LOL)

128x128fthompson251

Unfortunately technology does move forward. But much like in components, high end stuff does not go out of date as fast.

I am retired as well and understand your dilemma. But I also just upgraded my system and all of it’s cords. No question there have been some big advances. But I think given your situation assume your existing cords are still excellent… and replace what is likely to make the biggest difference. The amp power cord.

I tried a number of amp power cords… they made a big difference… but none of them got it right. Finally after a year… my dealer brought over an Audio Quest Hurricane. It was hugely different and all better. I recommend trying this… and then assume the changes on other stuff will be much smaller. They didn’t normally sell Audio Quest… but the forums and audio community was abuzz about them, so he bought one. 

Once I got my components all squared away. I took my time in adjustments. Given your interconnects are high quality. I would not look to move quickly. If you are really enjoying your system and are retired (as in no longer in “must finish this immediately” mode. You can casually take a look at another cable next year. Anyway, I have been retired for five years… relaxing more and enjoying more… not being in a hurry. A couple hundred hours or more before considering the next change gives you incredible insight into what your system sounds like and sensitivity to small changes. So, repositioning after another 500 hours can result in better sound. Etc.

@ghdprentice  Thanks. Yeah and if I were to upgrade the amp PC it is X2$ because it is a fully dual mono amp with 2 separate power cords, 1 for each channel so not cheap!

 

Which BMI Whales do you have, the Elites or Supremes?  I've had both with the Supremes being much better to my ear.  One area where the older cords can fall short is in the quality of their plugs.  Many companies/builders were using (and some still do) inferior plugs.  I began experimenting with better plugs (IeGO and Oyaide) and was able to get much better sound from several decent older power cords.  And the different plugs can significantly alter the sound so a bit of research on their sound characteristics would reduce the need for hit and miss experimentation.  

Nice amp BTW!  The best amp I ever owned was the 70/70 Signature.

Regarding power cables... while newer varieties my provide a different flavor, they are not necessarily better IME.  Marketing is the driving force behind cables, most of which is hype to justify high prices.  If you like the sound of your system, upgrading cables would be low on my priority list.